As a mobile society, we enjoy a number of adventures away from home on a regular basis. While we’ve talked about securing our homes and vehicles, one of the things that should also be considered is the importance of safeguarding our belongings when we’re out and about. Here are some ways we allow ourselves to be vulnerable to theft:
Shopping for groceries involves picking up, examining, and selecting items in the store. The process of shopping creates a huge distraction from the shopping cart itself, which means that bags, purses, and other personal items are unattended and not secure. We recently saw a piece of security footage which showed a senior woman’s purse being stolen from the floorboard of an electric cart as she stood to pick something up from a shelf. Later, her purse was recovered, however, her money and credit cards were missing and used at a couple of local retailers. Frankly, it made us mad. How much more secure can you get than having something right at your feet? But, it happened.
The top of a car
The process of loading and unloading a car usually requires three hands. :) So, when we’re attending to these things, sometimes it’s a temptation to put things such as a wallet or cellphone on the roof of the car. A few minutes later, sailing down I-17, it occurs to you that your hands-free device is empty because you forgot your cell and wallet on top of the car.
Public tables, counters, and chairs
We often see a briefcase or backpack slung casually in the seat next to a customer enjoying their coffee or a meal in a restaurant or coffee shop. Sometimes we’ll see a person put their wallet on a counter so they can use both hands to search for a coin or shopping list.
The briefcase or bag may or may not be sitting open. You might ask yourself why a person would steal an empty briefcase or backpack full of schoolbooks; they do because they want the bag, especially the high-quality versions.
What you can do
You can pay for something like this retractable cable lock to secure bags and purses directly to a shopping cart or chair.
Women can close all of their clasps and zippers and use something as simple as a carabiner clip attached to their bag and clip it to the shopping cart, so it can’t be easily snatched. Anything which secures your belongings and slows thieves down will make you less vulnerable to theft.
While an electronic tracker won’t prevent theft, it will offer the whereabouts of its location so you can retrieve it. In the case of a wallet on the freeway, you may want to enlist the aid of highway patrol before you attempt to recover it. However, a tracker will at least let you know the location.
Sometimes all it takes to avoid being robbed is to keep a sharp eye open. By allowing yourself to become distracted by things in front of you, it’s harder to be aware of what is happening behind you. The majority of thieves choose to rob those who are distracted and often come up from behind.
Keep easily lost items secure
Wallets, cell phones, and other easily possessions should be placed in safe locations such as inside the car or your pocket when you need two free hands. You can learn these habits by making a rule that certain areas off-limits to your belongings, such as the top of the car or a public counter. While you can’t control what someone else might do, you can control your habits and standard security practices. Hopefully, some of these tips will help you become more aware and able to keep your items secure when you’re out and about.
Be safe, everybody!
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